I often think of things I’d like to do more consistently.
Reading. Writing. Coding. Making music.
All things I do from time to time, but I tend to do a lot of them in bursts — and then not again for a while.
Throw in gaming and watching TV shows — mostly on Netflix — and I have plenty of distractions to keep me from doing the things I want to be doing… or feel I should be doing.
I’ve heard about doing something until it becomes a habit. But you know what? I’ve often heard that approach without much to explain HOW to make something a habit — beyond “do it more”.
Sure, find what works for you. But what if nothing works? Or if you often feel unmotivated?
Recurring calendar reminders to the rescue!
I have recurring reminders in my work calendar — and some for personal projects in my personal calendar. One of my personal reminders is for the Review highlights post I write every week for Switch Scores. Following my first blog post of 2021, I created another reminder to write a weekly blog post. It’s a recurring reminder with no end date. This will then prompt me to write a post every week.
I use my calendar a lot. It allows me to see what’s coming up, when I have free time and when I don’t.
But calendars aren’t just for meetings. They work for tasks, too. There’s a reason why lots of productivity tools boast “Google calendar integration”! So why not go directly to your calendar?
You can use more sophisticated tools if you like. I find that Google Calendar helps me to stick to a schedule, because my phone alerts me when an event or a reminder is coming up. You can also post your reminders in a personal calendar, rather than mixing them in with your work calendar. Or you could even create a dedicated blogging calendar.
One blog post per week isn’t a lot. But it’s a start. Without the recurring reminder, I wouldn’t remember to write — or I wouldn’t bother.
It’s not rocket science — but this is a tip I’ve found to be extremely beneficial over the last couple of years.
Bonus tip: Don’t post too quickly
At the start of this post, I said I do things in bursts.
After writing my first blog post, I thought up the idea for my second post. So I continued writing and got the second post done too — but held back on publishing it as soon as I finished writing it.
In the past, I would’ve immediately put it online. But if I’m aiming to write one post per week, that doesn’t just mean pushing myself to write. It also means holding back and not putting up the next post as soon as I write it.
Sometimes, the excitement of finishing a new blog post gets the better of me, and I share it immediately. But unlike catching up on Twitter posts, blog posts take longer to read, and can take longer to digest. Posting too quickly can be overwhelming, and result in a post not getting the time of day it perhaps deserves.
Originally published at https://www.benbarden.com on January 8, 2021.